Bucs GM Mark Dominik attended both East-West Shrine practices on Tuesday and spent a few minutes with the local media, including PewterReport.com, discussing quarterback Josh Freeman's contract situation.
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik visited Tuesday’s East-West Shrine practice to try and find a hidden gem among the college talent on display. Shortly after arrival Dominik spoke to a few members of the local media, including PewterReport.com, about a player he once thought – and still thinks – is a current gem, quarterback Josh Freeman.
As PewterReport.com reported following the season finale, the Buccaneers are in no hurry to extend Freeman’s current contract, but Dominik said that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen before it expires next season, or that anyone should read anything into the decision by the organization.
"Traditionally, we have always waited to do new deals for guys,'' Dominik said. "That's' just something that we've always done.
"Now, that doesn't mean that that is absolutely what we are going to with Josh. But that's what we have done in the past, and in this case it makes sense for us to stick with that. Nobody is in a hurry to do a deal right now."
Freeman is in the final of year of his original contract that will pay him $8.43 million, and would allow him to become an unrestricted free agency one year from now.
"I don't want to put a parameter around it because I don't think that's healthy for anybody," Dominik said. "There should be no parameter on these kinds of things. They should come together when they should come together.
"I'd say we've discussed that now is not the time to negotiate a new deal for Freeman.
"But we will talk. And when we do, I'd rather it be in person. That could be here, at the East-West Shrine game, or at the Senior Bowl or at the combine. It could be later in the summer. I just like to do those things in person.''
Freeman set several franchise records after throwing for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Buccaneers offense was the most prolific in franchise history, yet some still question if Freeman is the long-term answer in Tampa Bay.
Dominik didn’t appear to be one of those however, and looks forward to seeing what the former Kansas State star can do in 2013.
"Having a full year of being around coach (Greg) Schiano and the way we do things will only help Josh going forward, and now we have another opportunity to surround him with more talent, too,'' Dominik said.
Representatives from Freeman’s camp have not responded to Pewter Report’s request for comment.
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